The closest I’ve ever felt to being on Mars was at Goblin Valley State Park. This park is packed with unique hoodoos and is such a unique landscape when standing among them. While we only spent a few hours in this park, it was so much fun to explore.
Goblin Valley State Park is located in Utah between Canyonlands National Park and Capitol Reef National Park. This was a stop we heard about when doing research on best things to do in the south eastern part of Utah. We had been to Arches and Canyonlands earlier in our Southwest Road Trip and thought this would be a great stop for a few hours before heading to Capitol Reef.
Cost & Hours:
- You can pay $20 for entry into the park that covers two days either online or at the entrance.
- The park is open 7 AM to 10 PM year round.
There are 4 established trails in the area you can hike. They are Carmel Canyon (1.5 Miles), Curtis Bench (2.1 miles), Entrada Canyon (1.8 miles), and the Goblin’s Lair (3 miles) that includes a slot canyon. They range from easy to strenuous.
While we were there, we decided to take a different type of hike which was more a choose your own adventure option. One portion of the park is called The Goblin Valleys. It’s about 3 square miles of the park that’s filled with thousands of hoodoos (pictured below). There’s not any specifically marked hiking trails through the area, so you can make your hike as long or as short as you’d like.
There’s a few camping options in the park including a man campground, RV sites, and my personal favorite, two yurt options. They range from $35 to $100. You can make reservations online for these.
- Bring plenty of water to drink as there’s not much shade in the area.
- There’s picnic options near the Goblin’s Valley area so bring a lunch as there’s not many options nearby.
- There’s likely no cell service, so either download a map prior to coming or pick one up at the Visitor Center.
- For those interested in viewing the night sky, the park has incredible views of the Milky Way since it has little light pollution.
- Pets are allowed in Utah State Parks but must be on a 6 foot or shorter leash.
Through my travels, I’ve found that many State Parks are often just as incredible as National Parks, though often on a much smaller scale. This is park is a great example of getting to visit such a unique feature like the hoodoos in a less crowded park than a National Park. We had a great time here and definitely plan to come back.